Four potentially suitable sites have been identified by specialists for the city’s urgently-needed new graveyard.
After years of investigation, Galway City Council has now settled on four sites which appear to meet the main criteria for a burial ground.
Councillor Padraig Conneely told the Galway City Tribune that these four sites are on the Dublin Road, the Tuam Road, Rahoon and Monivea Road.
The local authority will now consult with the landowners and seek their consent to further rexplore the suitability of the sites. Factors like ground water, rock formations, access, traffic, parking and environmental issues have all to be considered.
As well as size – to meet the needs of the city’s dead for at least a generation – the site must have connectivity to public transport and be serviced by footpaths to allow easy access for pedestrians and cyclists.
“The City Council would ideally like to purchase the lands from the landowners but has powers under the Compulsory Purchase Order legislation to obtain a site for a new cemetery,” explained the Fine Gael representative.
City Council Chief Executive Officer Brendan McGrath warned councillors last year that there were only four years left in Rahoon before it became full. Bohermore Cemetery has no more double plots remaining, and only a handful of single plots left.
He has floated the idea of having to move outside the city for a new graveyard due to the difficulties in identifying suitable sites.
In 2016 specialists were brought in to help Council staff secure land for a new cemetery after 30 sites that had been identified were deemed unsuitable.
Sites were examined, and trial holes were drilled, but the search proved useless.
The City Council has put €1million in place for the provision of new burial grounds for the city.
East side councillors, particularly Cllr Ollie Crowe, has constantly complained about the apparent lack of urgency in creating a new graveyard, saying it was ridiculous to expect families to cross the city and bury their dead on the west side now that Bohermore is full.